Saugerties Artists Studio Tour turns 10
A 10-year anniversary is always cause for celebration — and that’s what participating artists in the 10th annual Saugerties Artists Studio Tour are doing this weekend.
“It’s a BIG deal,” said a pleased Barbara Bravo, one of the original founding artists and a tour organizer for the past eight years.
Asked if she thought the tour would mark a 10th year, she laughed and said, “Never!” But, she added, “Every year, the tour was so successful, we kept saying, ‘Let’s do it again!’ We’re still saying it after 10 years!”
The tour, which takes place all around the village and town of Saugerties, kicks off today with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. at Opus 40, 50 Fite Road. The tour runs Saturday and Sunday from
More information and a map are online at www.saugertiesarttour.com. Information is also available by calling Bravo at (845) 246-7493 or Ellen Perantoni at (845) 246-4771
The tour, in its 10 years, has hosted 85 artists, according to Bravo. Thirty-nine are participating this year, with two — Poli Cecil and Jesse Reimer — returning after a hiatus, she said.
Bravo, a ceramic artist, said four new artists joined the 2012 tour: Sara Conca, Robert George, Kim Alderman and Shelli Lipton.
“All the returning artists are featuring new work for this tour,” Bravo said.
“Barbara is our secret weapon. She’s a great organizer and makes the tour so professional,” said Elin Menzies, painter and collage artist, who participated in the interview with Gus Pedersen, furniture designer and builder; Susan Sammis, photographer; and Ellen Perantoni, a painter inspired by the Hudson River School. Continued...
Said Perantoni, “The Saugerties tour is the oldest in the Mid-Hudson Valley.”
Bravo said four significant events led up to the anniversary tour: The Arts Society of Kingston invited tour members to exhibit in the “Neighbor to Neighbor” show in July; the Saugerties Historical Society at the Kiersted House is presenting a 10th anniversary exhibit through Aug. 26; Café Mezzaluna on Route 212 will display the 10th anniversary exhibit, Sept. 1-30.
And, most importantly in terms of the weekend tour, The Gallery Show at Opus 40 on Fite Road in Saugerties, will present a sampling of artists’ works and will host a reception to meet the artists.
That takes place today from 5 to 7 p.m.
“When visitors come to my studio, they get an insight in to how the piece is created,” Pedersen said. “They get to see how a dove tail joint is made.”
Bravo said that, even though the studios are open both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., it’s just not possible to visit every artist. “People do have to make a selection. They can realistically visit three to four studios each day,” she said. “That’s why the map and icons about the artists are so valuable. They help with the decision-making.”
Added Pedersen, “The opening exhibit at Opus 40, though, is a great chance to see all the work and meet every artist.” “People can decide then where to make their stops.”
Asked about the benefits of the tour, each artist had a different perspective. “I’m usually a shy person,” Perantoni admitted. “But people who come to my studio love the Hudson River School of painters as much as I do, so I’m not so shy.”
“When people come to the studio, they don’t just see the final piece. They get to see the process,” Menzies said. “The artist is in the space, the heart of the art.”
“The tour also has enabled me to meet like-minded artists in the community,” Sammis said. “It also requires me, once a year, to assemble my work in a cohesive format to present my current work and that’s important to me.” Continued...
Said Bravo, “When people flow through my studio, they bring a different perspective to my work, maybe a piece that I’m hung up on. A germ of an idea to break through takes shape.”
However, the tour is not for every artist, Bravo said.
“It’s a very intimate experience,” she said. “But the people who come to your door selected you, and they’re happy to meet you in your sanctuary.”
Bravo added that she and other tour participants are visited by aspiring artists seeking encouragement to enter the field.
“I was a successful production studio artist for 30 years and was able to make a living at it,” she said. “My work is moving in a different direction now, but I encourage others to pursue their love and their dream.”
Said Perantoni, “I have found, after so many years on the tour, that love of art opens doors.”
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